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New Jersey continues to recover from a prolonged swoon, with cash-game traffic eclipsing the high-water mark of 350 for the first-time since May 7.
Last week marked the fifth out of the past six that the Garden State’s now eight-month-old market experienced week-over-week gains; a feat more in line with what one would expect to see in October, not July. And all this without the help of a major promotional roll-out.
Well played, New Jersey.
But not all was sunshine and flowers, as the online portion of Borgata’s DeepStack Extravaganza failed to meet the precedent set by its live predecessor, largely due to the Borgata shooting itself in the foot.
The role of deepstack tournaments in the poker world is undeniable. Not only do they allow skilled players to utilize most, if not all, of their skill set, they simulate a high buy-in atmosphere without a high buy-in price.
Call it the best of both worlds.
So of course when word got out that the Borgata was running a cross-promotional deepstack tournament and leaderboard series, with half the tournaments to be held at the Borgata’s b&m location and the other half online, my gut told me it was going to be a rousing success.
I was half right.
The first six events of the series (the live portion) crushed their modest guarantees. But when the series transitioned online it tanked, and I’d argue that Borgata’s ineptitude is mostly at fault.
I was of the mind that Borgata / Party had learned their lesson regarding the appeal of earlier start times months ago, when they shifted the starting time of their weekly major back several hours. But apparently not.
The Deepstack series notwithstanding, the state’s other mid-to-high buy-in MTTs performed well.
Results as follows:
For 888 and Party /Borgata, it was their strongest showing in some time. And while WSOP’s biggest majors failed to hit their guarantee, they still performed more admirably than in weeks prior.
7-day average cash-game volume was up a rather significant 7.6 percent last week, with the majority of the surge occurring between last Sunday and Tuesday. Since, volume gains have been more of the incremental variety.
Each of the state’s three networks (Ultimate Poker’s near non-existent traffic is no longer being recorded by PokerFuse Pro via PokerScout) saw ring game activity rise this week, broken down as follows (last Sunday’s volume in parentheses):
WSOP.com saw the biggest gains (9.8 percent), all without the help of a major promotional launch – although a flash 200% match bonus + $10 free certainly didn’t hurt.
Back when the site announced its new player loyalty structure, I had predicted that there would be a prolonged traffic falloff. But it appears the losses incurred by the restructuring were offset by augmented brand awareness, a strong promotional schedule and a temporary increase to the site’s first deposit match bonus – all of which helped to increase cash liquidity.
Party / Borgata also continued its recovery (6.4 percent gain), although with WSOP.com once again knocking on its door, the network’s margin for error is exceedingly narrow.
And finally, 888 continues to ride the momentum of its stellar Double Points Summer and Summer Slam! promos – although I have to wonder what will transpire in August when the promos end. Sans another cashback deal, smart money is on a large segment of 888’s fair-weather players gravitating back to either Party or WSOP.